Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic experience that could result in long-term consequences for your physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being. The complex and confusing process of recovering a claim through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) can make this difficult time even more trying.
Because every car accident is unique and the value of a claim depends on numerous factors, it's impossible to say up-front how much a claim would be worth. If you were injured in a car accident in British Columbia, it's vital to hire an experienced ICBC lawyer to help you navigate the claims minefield. The attorneys at Stephens & Holman can help you determine the value of your claim and will fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How Does the ICBC Determine Settlement Amounts?
After a car accident, the police prepare an accident report that they must send to the ICBC within 10 days of the collision. When you file a claim, the ICBC will use this report, along with photographic documentation, forensic evidence, and witness testimony, to determine fault for the accident and settlement amounts. The at-fault party can still receive a settlement for their medical bills and car repairs, but won't receive the damages the other party may be entitled to.
It's important to remember that the ICBC is not on your side. There is a good chance it also represents the other party in the accident. It may try to apportion some fault to you to minimize the settlement it has to pay you. ICBC adjustors may also offer you low-ball compensation to try to close your case quickly. The attorneys at Stephens & Holman can help you determine if a settlement offer is fair and negotiate a better one if necessary.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover in an ICBC Claim?
You may be entitled to a variety of damages after your car accident, including:
- Pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life: These damages are hard to quantify, but the attorneys at Stephens & Holman will help translate the impact of PTSD, anxiety, and the inability to live your previous lifestyle into recoverable dollar amounts.
- Loss of future income: If your injuries prevent you from working in the future or limit your ability to earn a living, you could receive damages commensurate to your diminished earning capacity.
- Cost of future care: These damages cover future medical procedures, equipment, medication, and facilities. These also include in-home care services if you're unable to cook or clean for yourself.
- In-trust damages: If your friends or family experience economic loss because of time spent caring for you — if your spouse quits their job to care for you, for example — they are entitled compensation for these services even if provided for no charge.
What are the Steps for Filing an ICBC Claim?
You have two years after the date of an accident to file a claim, so you should start the process as quickly as possible.
- Get the driver's license number, license plate number, and insurance information from others involved in the crash.
- Seek medical treatment.
- Speak to an ICBC claims attorney such as those at Stephens & Holman before you talk to an adjustor. They can help ensure you don't say anything that could limit your claim.
- File your claim online.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
The attorneys at Stephens & Holman specialize in ICBC claims. They will protect your rights and help you secure the compensation you're owed as you try to heal from a traumatic experience. They serve Greater Vancouver and surrounding areas of British Columbia. Call (866) 200-3575 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.